Bill Moeller Commentary: The Desktop is Too Crowded Again


I’ve lost track of the number of times in the past 12 years I’ve tried to clean my desk by using some of the assorted notes and clippings that accumulate in various nooks and crannies on all four sides of my computer.

Many of them seemed brilliant when I jotted them down, intending to use them to fill space in these weekly efforts.

Others defy the imagination as to why they caught my attention as possible topics. None of them are dated, so I don’t know how long ago they entered my “file,” but here are samples of them anyway.

There is the myth that Pacific Northwest climate is kept moderate by the Japanese Current, also known as “Kuro Siwo.” According to the book “Rains All the Time” by David Laskin, that belief was debunked as far back as 1899 by Beamer S. Pague, the founder of the Oregon State Weather Bureau.

Others have also debunked it frequently since then.

And on the subject of myths, another one is that a microwave cooks food from the inside out. If you believe that, spread anything over a plate and see which part warms up last.

This is not a myth. Don’t you wish that those who light up tobacco could be recognized and treated the same as other drug addicts?

I’ll never forget the older woman who gave me a dirty look when I was smoking my pipe inside a grocery store. It was one of the experiences that gave me the strength to break the filthy habit about 50 years ago (and still counting). And who knows, maybe she helped spare me a lung or two?

I can’t seem to get over the fact that the cost of senior citizen living is so high in Seattle. Many of the TV ads for the various shag apartments in Seattle have starting rates that are higher than my total Social Security income.

And their ads employ the most wooden spokesperson ever seen on TV. I suspect he gets free lodging for what he does (or rather doesn’t do) but I can’t help feeling that a professional announcer such as the guy who pitches gutter covers on noontime newscasts would pay off better for them in the long run.

Have you ever made a list of the people that you wished you could have known? I decided to try but got bogged down when the first on the list was Marilyn Monroe. I hope you realize that was intended to be a bit of old man humor.

What I really woke up for — in the middle of the night, recently — was (and I think I may not be alone in this) wondering about the people we haven’t yet met but who will show us the way to live truly happy lives. I’ve agreed with myself that it’s too late for that in my case but followed it up with wondering what it would be like to wake up in a small home on the shores of a lake in Switzerland.

As long as I’m on the subject of dreamers, why doesn’t someone invent a microwave oven where — if you’re warming up your coffee — the turntable would always stop with the handle of the coffee mug end up pointing toward the door. I’d be willing to pay a little extra for that, wouldn’t you?

Finally, wrapping this up, you recognize you’re getting older when there are times when you can’t sense the joke in some of the cartoons in the Sunday Seattle Times. I won’t even begin wondering about song lyrics in today’s hits!

And another “finally.” If you know someone who works on old electric furnaces have them call me at 360-736-7211. It still gets cold at night!


Bill Moeller is a former entertainer, mayor, bookstore owner, city council member, paratrooper and pilot living in Centralia. He can be reached at